Ad Council Distributes PSA by E-Mail, TV

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A public service television spot celebrating American diversity created by the Advertising Council began airing Oct. 4 and was sent to more than 1 million e-mail addresses at the same time.

The PSA, created by the Ad Council and advertising agency GSD&M, features people of diverse ethnicities, ages and religions stating "I am an American." The 30-second spot aims to encourage unity following the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

To widen distribution of the spot, e-mail marketer NetCreations donated the use of more than 1 million names on its e-mail lists and streaming media services provider helloNetwork streamed the TV ad through e-mail.

"It's important to us to get the message out to as many Americans as we can," said Susan Jacobsen, a spokeswoman for the Ad Council. "We were approached by helloNetwork to send it out by e-mail."

The e-mail includes the copy: "E Pluribus Unum. Out of many, one. Originally signifying the union of the 13 original colonies into one nation, this motto has come to represent America's diversity. First proposed by the signatories of the Declaration of Independence, E Pluribus Unum has become a message of tolerance and unity. More than 200 years later, E Pluribus Unum reminds us that our diversity makes America great."

It also included a viral marketing component.

"It's important that we promote diversity in cultures," said Jacques Malthais, helloNetwork's public relations manager. "Especially now. It's important that we realize that America is a melting pot."

HelloNetwork might send an additional batch of e-mails if it can get more names. Malthais said that the company is talking with broadband service provider Akamai and approached to donate some names.


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